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Pluto's motion on successive nights


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Not much to look at -- and in the hope that Pluto still belongs in the planetary section :smiley: -- here's a couple of shots of the planet carving a surprisingly rapid path through Sagittarius taken yesterday and today (details on images). 

post-11492-0-93283700-1435336089.png

post-11492-0-19485000-1435336129.png

Aligned/superimposed in Nebulosity:

post-11492-0-82212500-1435336183.png

In fact, the movement (around 3"/hour I think) is clearly visible on two shots taken 3 hours apart.

cheers

Martin

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Very good work ! I was thinking capture these planets (and asteroids) motion in gif animation. Netune, Uranus and Pluto are very difficult to capture with other appearance than white dot. Therefore I think that works like you did is a very interesting idea.

Congratulations !

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Thanks very much everyone! I managed to capture Pluto again last night so at some point will put an animated gif together.

Steve, actually I got lucky with the weather and the GOTO on the mount was quite accurate for once. Then it was a case of matching the orientation on the second night's image. There's a useful little map in this month's Astronomy Now which I used for a quick check of the field.

Mark, you should be able to capture them with a smaller scope too. At mag 14.1 or so with a sensitive camera (I used the Lodestar X2 mono guide cam) Pluto is quite bright.

jsmoraes, I'm guessing Pluto is pretty high for you? Here in the south of Spain where I am for a few days it gets to around 20 degrees.

James, I think you'll manage without guiding. It is possible to see Pluto pretty well in a 15s sub. The images are only stacked because LodestarLive was busily stacking away by the time I came to save. The altitude from the UK is an issue though. Worth travelling to find a good horizon. The last few nights I've just left the mount in the boot...

Martin

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Here's an animation of the movement over three successive nights: around 00.30 on 25, 26, 27 June. 

post-11492-0-43513300-1435411271.gif

Quattro 8" f/4 Newt on Az-Eq6 mount, operated in alt-az mode, SX Lodestar X2 mono. All unguided unfiltered single 15s exposures after dark subtraction. Aligned and stretched in Nebulosity. Cropped, converted to animated gif using ImageMagick convert function.  Conditions: Pluto around 20 degrees above horizon on each occasion, skies SQM 19.7, 19.5, 19.3 (moon!), temps 18, 20, 24C at 00.30 (hot!). Seeing or focus or collimation or all three a lot poorer on the third night.

cheers

Martin

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